STORRS, CT – Led by a pair of goals from freshman Joe Prescott (Norwell, MA) and four points (1g, 3a) from freshman Brandon Pfeil (West Vancouver, British Columbia), the Brown men's hockey team (4-6-4) erupted for a 7-2 win over AIC (4-10-3) in the Third Place game of the 20th Annual UConn Hockey Classic. In all, 13 different players tallied at least one point, as Brown closed out the non-league portion of its schedule with a 4-3-0 record. Sophomore Matt Harlow (Bridgewater, MA) finished with three assists, while sophomore Massimo Lamacchia (Maple, Ontario) and freshman Nick Lappin (Geneva, IL) both contributed a goal and an assist.
Things did not start well for the Bears, who fell behind, 1-0, just 15 seconds into the game when Richard Leitner, unmarked in the slot, capitalized on a defensive zone turnover and lifted the puck over senior Anthony Borelli's (Grand Island, NY) right shoulder for the early lead.
The Bears got on the board exactly 12 minutes later when Prescott connected for his first career goal. Lamacchia collected the puck on the right halfwall and sent it down to Prescott at the left side of the crease. Prescott moved the puck over to his backhand and lifted it over Ryan Kerpan's right shoulder to knot the game at 1-1.
With 4:12 left in the period, Leitner was whistled for a five-minute major for contact to the head and Brown capitalized on the ensuing power play, scoring twice in a span of 70 seconds to take a 3-1 lead into the locker room.
Pfeil gave Brown a 2-1 lead at the 18:13 mark when he fired a shot through traffic from the blueline that got past Kerpan for his second of the season. Harlow and Lappin each assisted on the goal.
With time winding down in the period, sophomore leading scorer Matt Lorito (Oakville, Ontario) lit the lamp for the 10th time this season to increase Brown's lead to 3-1 after the first 20 minutes. Junior Mike Juola (Lake Forest, CA) dug the puck out from behind the net and passed to senior Chris Zaires (Aberdeen, NJ) at the right post. Zaires sent to over to Lorito, who tapped the puck past Kerpan from the left side.
AIC nearly got one back just 4:21 into the second period but Jon Puskar's wrist shot from the left circle, which had Borelli beat glove-side high, clanged off the far post as Brown held onto the 3-1 lead.
Just three minutes after Puskar hit the post, the Yellow Jackets scored their second of the game when Brandon Fagerheim converted a two-on-one rush with Jason Popek at 7:42.
The Bears regained the two-goal advantage just 45 seconds after Fagerheim's goal on the second of the afternoon for Prescott. Lamacchia started things by winning a faceoff to Kerpan's left, back junior Garnet Hathaway (Kennebunkport, ME). Hathaway passed the puck to Pfeil on the right halfwall, who sent the puck towards the goal. Stationed on the near side of the crease, Prescott deflected the puck into the net, finding space between Kerpan's left shoulder and the post.
Brown scored three times in a span of 5:05 during the final 7:25 of the game to account for the 7-2 final. Junior Mark Hourihan (Lynnfield, MA) started the scoring spree when he tipped a feed from Harlow at 12:35 to give Brown a 5-2 lead. At 13:59, Lappin was the recipient of a centering feed from sophomore Ryan Jacobson (Greenwood Village, CO), as the rookie had an easy tap-in for his third goal of the season. With just 2:30 left in the game, Lamacchia collected the puck from junior Jake Goldberg (Langhorne, PA) in the slot and wristed a high shot over Kerpan's glove for his third of the year.
For the game, Brown outshot AIC, 42-27. Borelli earned the win with 25 saves, while Kerpan stopped 35 for the Yellow Jackets.
Brown continues action on Wednesday evening, January 2nd, when it hosts the Russian Red Stars in an exhibition game. With many on the team nursing injuries, including several to the Bears' defensive unit, Brown will have a weekend off before resuming ECAC Hockey action on January 11th at Clarkson.
BROWN 3 1 3 x - 7
AIC 1 1 0 x - 2
First period – A, Leitner (Peake), 0:15; B, Prescott (Lamacchia, Harlow), 12:15; B, Pfeil (Harlow, Lappin), PP, 18:13; B, Lorito (Zaires, Juola), PP, 19:23. Penalties – B, 0-0; A, 2-15.
Second period – A, Fagerheim (Popek), 7:42; B, Prescott (Pfeil, Hathaway), 8:27. Penalties – B, 0-0; A, 0-0.
Third Period – B, Hourihan (Harlow, Robertson), 12:35; B, Lappin (Jacobson, Pfeil), 13:59; B, Lamacchia (Goldberg, Pfeil), 17:30 .Penalties – B, 2-4; A, 1-2.
B, Anthony Borelli (60:00), 5-10-10-x – 25; A, Ryan Kerpan (60:00), 14-8-13-x – 35.
Pictured: Joe Prescott '16 scored the first two goals of his career against AIC. Photo by DSPics.net.